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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone!

I am a new rider(well, future rider) and had a few questions before I make my initial purchases. First let me introduce myself. I am 21, 6'0", and about 200lbs.

First question, I have looked at quite a few forums and bikes and I think I am going to start off with something that I won't kill myself on. I want a sports bike and not a cruiser. At first, I am going to mainly ride to work(within a couple miles) to get comfortable but I am sure once I have my bike I will be riding a lot because I am excited to learn. I have been looking at the Ninja 250R but am worried that because of my weight it may not have enough power to keep my interest very long(I realize that with starting with something low powered, I will lose interest and want to upgrade probably within the first year of riding and am ok with that). Are there any bikes that are slightly more powerful than the 250cc? Would a 500cc bike be too much to handle for my first bike? I am pretty mature and think I will be a rider who knows my skill level limits.

Second, how much should I expect to spend on safety gear? I am thinking about $1000 should be enough but have heard differently from some people. What is realistic to expect to spend for good quality gear? I realize this is VERY VERY important especially when learning to ride.

Thank you all in advance for your help and insight and I can't wait to get my first bike and start riding!
 

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Looking at your size, definitely consider the ninja 500, also look at the ninja 650, the sv 650 and also the bandit 650 or 600, I can't remember which one it is. You shouldn't need to spend 1 grand on safety gear. You can get a good helmet for under 200 dollars, gloves, boots, jacket and pants will be no more than 500 for all of it, and thats for good gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the quick reply.

Everything I have read has said to stay away from a 600+cc bike as a first bike so I am going to listen to that overwhelmingly common advice and go with something less powerful. When it comes to engine size, my question is: is a 500cc too powerful for a first time rider?
 

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Thats a tough situation being 6 foot tall and all. The honda rebel 250cc are great beginners bikes and can be had relatively cheap(older models that is). I think you are wise to consider the ramifications of being a beginner and the size of your first bike. Haste makes waste and all that. I believe your consideration lends itself to longevity in the motorcycle world, that and taking the MFS course.

A good helmet can be upwards of $200+ depending if you go full,3/4 or 1/2. A good jacket will be 150$ and up and gloves about 30-50$ and up. I mostly wear jeans and occasionally a pair of kevalared over pants that can go 150$ and up.
 

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engine size means NOTHING.

you can find a good helmet for less than 100 dollars, full face. that's the only kind of helmet you should be looking at anyway.

as rex said, the ninja 500 is ideal due to the price and performance it offers, while still being VERY beginner friendly, yet having enough HP to cruise above 70 on the interstate.
 

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The Ninja 650 or SV650 are both twin cylinders and do not develop the high horsepower of the inline-4 600cc supersport bikes. The Ninja 500 is also a twin. Any of these are manageable as a first bike.

I'd recommend taking a MSF course before buying a bike. It will get you your license and help you determine a lot about what to choose for a first bike.
 

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Everything I have read has said to stay away from a 600+cc bike as a first bike so I am going to listen to that overwhelmingly common advice and go with something less powerful.
You want to stay away from inline-4's as Dodsfall said. Worry about horse power and weight not just cubic centimeters. The Ninja 500 or 650 would probably work for you. Oh, and as others have said; take an MSF course.

Thanks
- Bowser :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, I think I will probably look more seriously at the Ninja 500 then. By the way, I am military so I have to take a motorcycle safety course and everything before I can ride anyways(will be taking it soon). I am not sure if it is actually MSF or not but the guy who teaches it has been a certified instructor for over 15 years and I know you get your license upon completion and whatnot. The 250cc bikes and helmets are also provided.

Ok, when it comes to gear, what brands should I be looking at and which should I stay away from? I know for the helmet I want a full face helmet and I know to look for DOT or Snell certified helmets. When it comes to anything else, what features should I look for? Any insight here can help.
 

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Ok, I think I will probably look more seriously at the Ninja 500 then. By the way, I am military so I have to take a motorcycle safety course and everything before I can ride anyways(will be taking it soon). I am not sure if it is actually MSF or not but the guy who teaches it has been a certified instructor for over 15 years and I know you get your license upon completion and whatnot. The 250cc bikes and helmets are also provided.

Ok, when it comes to gear, what brands should I be looking at and which should I stay away from? I know for the helmet I want a full face helmet and I know to look for DOT or Snell certified helmets. When it comes to anything else, what features should I look for? Any insight here can help.
Let me say right off, stay away from Frank Thomas stuff. Its a brand made by Cycle Gear and I even had a Cycle Gear store employee comment on its lack of build quality and durability. Some have had great luck with it, but if the store personnel comment like that about something, they've likely got good reason and/or have seen a lot of returns on that particular brand. K, having said that...

Depending on your climate, leather gear is best. Brand preference will likely vary widely. I prefer Dainese and Vanson for my jackets. I have a Vanson Vent Max 3 textile jacket that breathes really REALLY well for the 90+ degree days here in TX. But I wear leather gloves (Fieldsheer "Troy" gloves), leather boots (over the ankle Timberlands) and my motorcycle pants (Cortech "Mod" Denim Pants) have leather panels in the knees and butt/hips area. So yeah, to each his own, but you cant beat leather for the protection. Can't wait for the weather to cool down a bit so I can wear my Dainese jacket again...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info sirgilbert357!

I have been looking at some of the more common names for the gear such as Arai, HJC, Shoei, AGV, Icon and a couple others. I wasnt sure about a couple others like shark and Scorpion. I liked a couple of their helmets' designs and made sure that they were at least DOT certified but I wasnt sure about how the ventilation and noise reduction and whatnot would be on these. I am thinking I will probably end up buying one from the bigger brands. I figure spend the money now for safety AND comfort so I won't have to upgrade later.

As for the bike, I think I am going to go with a Kawasaki Ninja 650R. It is a parellel twin engine so it won't be way too powerful but figure it will have enough power(at around 65-70hp) to keep me interested for at least a season or two before I will want to trade up.

Last of all, does anyone know where I can find good classifieds? Craigslist around here doesn't seem to have much of a selection of lower powered sports bikes so it is almost going to force me to buy new which is ok since the ninja is around $7,000 new but I really don't want to lay down a new bike if I can help it. Would you say to get like the frame bars to prevent damage to the bike for when I do lay it down while learning? what other accessories would help in that department?

Sorry for the multiple questions... Thanks in advance for all the help!
 
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